Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Well Hello Old Friend

For me, running is like an old friend that I can always turn to. I get to think when I run and no matter what the situation, I always feel better after a run. Also, if it weren't for running, I would have never met my husband and Darwin would not exist. The thing I always loved about running was that it was fair. If I trained hard and was loyal to running, I was paid back with fast times. Anytime things weren't going so well, I could always figure out why. Maybe I hadn't trained enough or maybe I was pushing myself too much and I was over trained. Either way, running was usually predictable and I loved that.

When I got pregnant, it was hard for me to watch my old friend slip away. Even though I ran through all but the last 3 weeks of the pregnancy, things just weren't the same. This was the first time in my life that each run became harder than the one the day before and my times got slower, and slower and slower until I could hardly run at all. Sure, this was expected but I couldn't help but hate it even though I knew it was coming. I guess it is kind of like pregnancy weight gain. You know it will happen but it still hurts when you look in the mirror. I was able to get through these times by thinking about Darwin and how he was totally worth it. Also, I looked forward to running again after he was born. Boy was I shocked when running didn't go well after I delivered. This was never something I allowed myself to think about. I was going to run my entire pregnancy, give birth and get right back in there. My doctor cleared me to run 3 weeks post pregnancy. Even though I really didn't feel up to it, I forced myself to do it anyway. I mean the doc said it was ok, right? For about a month I kept at it but it felt like being pregnant all over again. Each run was harder than the one before and I certainly wasn't getting any faster. A 3 mile run would leave me feeling beat up and sore-like a 20 miler did back when I was marathon training. Finally, I came to my senses and took some additional time off. I had to reevaluate everything. I had plans to run a marathon when Darwin was a year old. For that to happen I basically needed to start training the second he was born. I realized that these type of goals were not realistic and were causing me stress. No new mom needs that. I took a step back and came up with a new goal. It was simply to enjoy running again. Sounds easy but that month of forcing myself through training runs was anything but enjoyable. I wasn't sure if this new, seemingly simple goal would happen. I took 3 weeks off and started running again on January 1st. I started with only a mile. It wasn't much but it felt good. Even though I was slow there was something familiar about it. It was pain free and I actually enjoyed myself. I've slowly added mileage since that day and I'm up to 20-25 miles per week. In the last couple of weeks, I've really noticed that I'm running faster and easier. Last night I put the shoes on that I wore in the Chicago marathon and went out for a tempo run. I was hoping to keep an 8:10 pace but ended up running more like 7:55 pace. Now I feel like I am definitely on my way back. I may never run the way I did before I became a mom, but that is ok. As long as my old friend running is in my life, I'm good with that.

1 comment:

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